14 February 2020
New Delhi: In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in India, the country's civil aviation regulator has decided to expand universal screening for all passengers arriving in flights directly from Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore, besides those from China and Hong Kong.
According to a circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation: "Universal screening of all passengers coming in flights directly from Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore besides the flights from China and Hong Kong shall be ensured immediately once they step out of the specific identified aerobridge.
"It is advised to place suitable signages at strategic locations at all the airports and getting the self-declaration form filled by the passengers as per the instructions of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare."
Earlier, the government had banned all India-bound airlines from boarding any passenger from China on an e-visa, in view of the rapid spread of coronavirus which originated in Wuhan.
The virus, which is of the same genre as SARS that broke out in 2003, was first reported in the WHO Disease Outbreak news on January 5, 2020. It has progressively spread across many countries from its epicentre in Wuhan.
In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, Chinese authorities have closed transportation services across many parts of the country, including Wuhan.
The virus has spread at a much faster pace than the 2003 SARS epidemic.